Simulator Mimics High-Stress Driving
As part of efforts to bring down the spiraling cost of workers’ compensation insurance, the Jefferson County, Mo., Sheriff’s Office is employing a driving simulator to reduce the number of chase-related accidents.
The simulator was developed to mimic a patrol car driver’s seat and dashboard, including a two-way radio, computer keyboard, and sirens. Projection screens in front and on both sides give the realistic impression of movement, so much so that some users have complained of motion sickness. Scenarios, which get more difficult as an officer progresses, include heavy traffic, nighttime driving, and various weather conditions.
“We’ve seen an increase in the number of driving-related accidents that our deputies are involved in and have made the determination that a high number of those accidents were caused by driver error in that they were driving too fast for conditions or simply weren’t paying attention,” says Sheriff Oliver Boyer. “Hopefully, the driving simulator will allow us to retrain those officers and hopefully correct those deficiencies.”
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (01/25/06) P. C5; Rowden, Tim.